Over the last several weeks, I’ve had this burning desire to become a better mom. Because y’all, I have a long way to go toward being a good mom.
I don’t love doing crafts with the kids, I find explaining things to them frustrating, and their constant questions wear me out.
It’s not that I don’t love my kids – I do! And I want to be a good mom. But my driven personality wants to do things efficiently, rather than effectively. You know, rush through a craft that’s suppose to be fun, and nurture the kids creativity so that I can check it off of my list, rather than sitting back and enjoy watching the kids learn.
It’s a serious and deep character flaw of mine, and I’ve been praying about it a lot, and while I feel terribly uncomfortable about being so open and vulnerable, I want you to know that it’s a struggle that I am attacking head on, because I want the wellbeing of my kids to always come first.
3 Steps I’m Taking To Be A Better Mom
Stop saying “Yes, but”
I didn’t realize I was doing this, or that it was even a problem if I was, but listening to one of Money Saving Mom’s Periscope broadcasts recently opened my eyes. Kids have a desperate need for quality time from their parents, and Hearing Crystal talk about how telling her husband, who’s love language is quality time that she only had a few minutes to check in, completely sucked the quality out of the time him hit me in the gut. I do that to my kids all the time! They ask “mommy, will you cuddle with me?” and I say, “Yes, but only for a few minutes”. “Will you play with me” Yes, for just a few minutes”. I thought I was doing a good thing by letting them know what to expect, but it was just the opposite!
Separate my working hours from my family hours
As a work at home mom, this can be hard. There are some things, like recipe development, that aren’t really separable, but the part where I take it to the computer can wait until the kids are in bed. Gabriel’s been a big help with this, by taking the kids out to the farm with him to do chores in afternoons when he can so I can have a bit of time. I’ve also been getting up earlier (of course, if it were up to me, I’d just stay up later, but Gabe’s an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy, and I don’t want to get too far off of his schedule). The bottom line is I want to be present when I’m with the kids. I don’t want them to see me in their memories as someone who was always too busy for them.
Set aside time to just be with them
No agenda, no school work, no craft, no chores, just be there, and be ready to do whatever they want to do, be it read a book, play outside, or make a snack together. This one is especially hard for me, because I tend to be a planner, and not spontaneous at all. But I believe it’s important to show the kids that their opinions and wants matter, and not just decide for them what they need.
Those are my three big things for right now. Do I want to add more? Yes! But baby steps, y’all, baby steps.
The truth is, I’ll probably always have a long way to go before I ever reach my version of “good mom” status. The goal – probably for the rest of my life – will always be to just be a little bit better every day.
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